A North Carolina man drowned while kayaking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Thursday, according to officials.

The victim, identified as 53-year-old Kenneth C. Worthington, of Apex, NC, was paddling the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier section of the park when he capsized about 6:20 p.m., according to a National Park Service news release.

Worthington floated to the river’s edge where friends pulled him from the water.

Park rangers and Gatlinburg police and fire personnel responded and performed CPR. Worthington was transported to LeConte Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Rangers reminded park visitors that water recreation is not recommended in the park due to numerous hazards and dangers. Heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast through the Fourth of July weekend, which can cause river levels to rise rapidly.

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